The Margate Central ward has finally been declared as vacant following two previous failed attempts by Thanet council.
The declaration follows failed attempts to approve a motion to declare the ward vacant at a meeting on October 15 following the disqualification of Cllr Ian Venables and then another failed motion to authorise the chief executive to declare the vacancy at a meeting on November 6.
The wrangle centred around whether Ian Venables was rightly disqualified from his councillor role after taking a post with new homelessness team RISE.
Thanet council says that means he is now indirectly employed by the authority and he has been disqualified under section 80(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 with effect from 1 August 2018.
But there was dissatisfaction amongst councillors with the legal argument over whether Mr Venables had been rightly disqualified and the lack of information regarding legal advice to the council.
Local government rules mean a by-election cannot be called within 6 months of a full election taking place – district councillors are due to go to the polls in May.
The meeting on Tuesday (November 27) was the final attempt to approve the declaration. Initially it was to have excluded the press and public but councillors voted this down -meaning the details are now published.
The report to councillors outlined legal advice which said the disqualification of Cllr Venables was correct because although the Forward Trust is his employer the new role that position is being funded by Thanet council.
The declaration has now been approved although a by-election cannot be called and the post will remain vacant until the local elections in May.